Ste Kelly
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Ste Kelly

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | Established. Jan 01, 2021 | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2021
Band Rock Indie




"stephen kelly home brew ep review"

‘Home Brew Volume 1’ is a cohesive, melodically rich collection of tracks which showcases the versatility of Stephen Kelly as an artist. The EP has a diverse and engaging soundscape oozing alternative edgy elements blended between indie pop melodies, rock n roll tones with the odd country twang thrown in for good measure. - indie buddy

"ste kelly single press piece"

The song is taken from his 'Home Brew Volume 1' collection - available from Wednesday, December 15th on Bandcamp.

Stephen Kelly, frontman and songwriter of Dublin rock band Raglans, is embarking on his first solo journey with new track 'Pile Up'.

The song is taken from his collection Home Brew Volume 1, a lockdown concoction of newly written & home produced material.

Working with mixing engineer, Eamonn Conway (The Scratch, Sorcha Richardson, Otherkin) remotely from pandemic bedrooms, Home Brew is a collection of new tracks and bonus unreleased recordings that have never seen the light of day.

'Pile Up' is accompanied by an animated video released this Wednesday by Adam Daniels from London based visual media company PrimitiveEarth.

Home Brew Volume 1 will be released from January 2nd on all major streaming platforms.

Kelly intends to continue with Home Brew Volume 2 in early 2021 before embarking on live solo dates and further releases as well as touring with Raglans. - hotpress magazine

"ste kelly interview"

Discussing labels, Kelly believes it’s important to work with a group who really understand and support the band. Taking things seriously is essential. “We have built up a team now between our managers and the people who work with us, our crew, who have been with us from the start and believe in everything we do, who understand that we treat it like it is our own thing, a business, and we run it as such. A label who understand that ethos and want to get behind us and help us to continue what we’ve been doing already, which is building up a good community of people who like our music and like us as people because that the way we like it to work.” The band’s upcoming EP was produced with Fierce Panda Records, of whom Kelly can not speak more highly: “We wanted to be able to prove with this EP and the second album that we are going to be taking things up another level. Lots of labels got in touch, but Fierce Panda were just the soundest. They’ve got a cool team who really know what their doing.”

We discuss how it can often be difficult for start-up bands to catch a break and make it into the industry. Kelly believes that, as was the case for Raglans, catching a break is often more about a lot of hard work: “One of the main things that helped us was how hard we work to play gigs and get in front of as many people as possible. It’s not considered ‘a break’, but if you do it for long enough, it does become one big break.” However, this was not the only contributing factor: “Working with Finn Keenan making great videos from the start, our videos have always had a greatness to them because of him.” I ask Kelly why he thinks music video are so important: “I didn’t think they were until I met Finn. It is very enriching every time we work with him, he’s got a great enthusiasm, and he is great at what he does. If they are good videos, it marries well if you’ve got a good song, and it gives people a reason to show other people what you’re doing.”

Sometimes songwriters want complete control over how the song will sound when it’s played through the radio, but with me, once it’s written, that’s my job done
Raglans have opened for some big names in recent years, from Haim to The Fray. I ask Kelly how he feels these opportunities influence the career of the band: “Those experiences make you want to work harder on your own shows, it gives you a worth ethic and drive to be able to enjoy the comforts big bands have when they are on the road.” We talk a little about songwriting and Kelly’s own role in the band: “I’m a songwriter, that’s what I do. I’m lucky that I don’t have to work another job so when the band aren’t touring I’ve got so much time to myself to stay at home and write. I try to write about my experiences, but there’s no barrier.” For Kelly, the songwriting process goes beyond him as an individual: “Writing about and putting my own experiences into the songs has been satisfying me when I listen to them, but once I write the song, that’s it. Sometimes songwriters want complete control over how the song will sound when it’s played through the radio, but with me, once it’s written, that’s my job done. Whatever happens with the song afterwards will be fantastic, and then its represents all of us. That’s why we’re a band.”

I like to believe that Raglans are well on their way to representing Irish indie-rock at a tremendous level internationally as some of the country’s best bands have done before. They believe firmly in “selling themselves on their own merits” and feel uncomfortable “playing the game to hard”. They are honest and have a love for their work. Their 2017 album will encapsulate everything that has happened in the last two years and is sure to be one to look out for. - university times

"ep review"

The EP begins with the excessively catchy “Who Knows” which I had downloaded immediately when it was released as a single months ago. The quick pacing of lead singer Stephen Kelly’s lyrical line paired with the interesting dynamic of drawn out guitar chords create this dramatic opposition that entices the listener. The song is about potential and possibilities, heading into the unknown future with an open mind as ready as can be to expect the unexpected be it death, love, money… who knows?

Next we glide through to the anecdotal “True North” with its kaleidoscopic guitar intro that is implemented in delightful bursts throughout the tune. As if a descent into a dream the experience this song permits is luminous depicting the woman in the narrative as a beacon Kelly sings, “was it my old man’s warning? Don’t settle down. That makes her light up like there’s propane on her, got a whiff and you know she’ll follow. Wouldn’t it be wonderful? Eyes shut and her hands out. True north, never been south.” I envision a woman too bright to look at raised on a pedestal guiding the way for lonely hearts.

“House Where I Was Born” can be subjectively described as an anxiety ridden track riddled with teen angst and a smattering of troubled childhood. “So wait for me, so come for, so torture me,” Kelly proclaims implying this reflective account is mostly a mental one. However, revisiting these troubled times inadvertently creates the channel for a terrific song. It’s loud, it’s a tad grungy and it’s angry encouraging a cathartic release in whatever way the listener sees fit.

In a subtle shift the soothing, slightly raspy inflection of Kelly’s voice slows everything right down accompanied only by an acoustic guitar he talks about the fear of becoming mundane and predictable. Shortly after the rest of the band joins him in the crowd friendly “La la la la’s” that will have your head banging. In the middle of the track there’s what can only be described as an epic guitar solo from Brendan McGlynn and a musical breakdown that shows off just how talented this band is before a dramatic three part harmony builds up to the final chorus. The song is introduced and ends with the soft and minimalist approach of Kelly and his guitar transitioning us smoothly in and out of the experience.

In conjunction with the last track “Claire” features Stephen Kelly and his guitar once more as he provides us with an honest, heart on your sleeve love song that we can only imagine is for a girl named Claire. I find the sadness in his voice leaking into my ears leaving me feeling immersed in this relationship I know nothing about as he sings, “I might be talking to myself, maybe madness, maybe health, these naked wounds that I must wear; Claire.” The first 2:30 of the song my heart breaks for this man I don’t know before an explosive deliverance of musical passion crashes through and carries on to end the track on a note of resurgence. - euphoria magazine

"album review raglans"

I found myself coming away from the experience with a smile on my face- knowing that some future-stars were in our midst. There was the rambunctious fun and sensation of The Libertines; a modern sound that was relevant and familar- yet with embers of some of the great acts of old. Above all, the lads had a kinship and tightness that augmented the music; made everything come alive and feel urgent. - music musings and such

"raglans live review"

It’s practically impossible to dislike the Dubliners’ big, bustling indiepop songs, packed with hearty melodies and strong harmonies. Contemporary touchpoints include Of Monsters and Men, but (Wait! Come back!) they also brazenly pilfer from the Beatles songbook with songs like White Lightning and maintain a ‘cheeky chappy’ charm throughout their half-hour set. - irish times

"debut album review 9/10"

Hailed by both Irish and UK press as being a band on the cusp of very big things indeed, Dublin four-piece Raglans have a lot riding on their debut. In fact, there has been an almost tangible weight of expectation resting on their shoulders, with many eager to see if they can take things to the next level. Hearteningly, Raglans does all that and more and the 11 track record is an affirmation that their last few years of blood, sweat and tears haven’t been in vain.

Very much a party record and an ode to youth, ambition and cheap cider, the band, who named themselves after the Patrick Kavanagh poem ‘On Raglan Road,’ rarely waste a note on the record. Musically informed by the likes of General Fiasco, Two Door Cinema Club and Jake Bugg (when he’s not being sulky), the opus is a stellar, starry-eyed effort which has world-beater written all over it. Packed with hooks (‘White Lightning’), surprises (the guitar-work on ‘DOWN’ is a little Cure-like) and an infectious feeling of optimism (“ This could be the start of something new ” offers Stephen Kelly on the incendiary ‘Digging Holes’), Raglans is one of the strongest, most self-assured debuts I’ve heard in years and if you’re not singing along with the sublime gang vocals on ‘Fake Blood’ and ‘Natives’ within seconds of hearing it, you really shouldn’t be reading this magazine. - hotpress magazine

"raglans review"

A dance for feet, imagination, and emotions, the self-titled debut album from Irish band Raglans is a magnetic introduction to a band which has already brewed up approaching feverish attention around home city Dublin and the wider landscape of Ireland. That spotlight is sure to be expanded as the infectious adventure of their album takes the hands of UK passions and leads them in its thrilling melodic waltz. The eleven song blaze of captivating sounds and insatiable energy provides all the reasons as to why the indie-folk quartet has swiftly made a major mark back home and will soon have wider fields spellbound you suspect. - ring master blog

"clash magazine video premiere"

Ireland's music scene is booming.
Almost in response to the ongoing financial crisis, Ireland's youth have developed a taste for glory, an ambition for something new.
Raglans could be next in line. The band are already fixtures on Ireland's music scene, maintaining a dogged following who throng to each and every live show.
Now their sights are set on the UK. Arranging a handful of shows, Raglans are eager to show British fans what they've been missing out on.
New single 'White Lightning' is a case in point. "Let’s get something straight," says lead singer Stephen Kelly. "The song is not about Cider! It's about being away from someone and thinking a lot about it, how and where it began which is usually always the best part. It's kind of a no nonsense pop song but we feel we've given it enough energy that it comes across as genuine which is all we want our music to be perceived as. I'd honestly never even heard of White Lightning cider when I wrote the lyrics so let's nip that in the bud shall we?"
So: it's not about cider. What it is, though, is a knockabout indie romp, a fixture of their live show and a demonstration of their visceral energy.
Watch it now. - clash magazine

"again and again ep review"

It’s been quite a coup for Raglans to land themselves a deal with one of the coolest indie labels around, Fierce Panda who have previously put out releases for Idlewild, Supergrass, Placebo and Ash. That’s a fine roster to have worked with and for an up and coming Raglans it appears to be the best place for them to grow. And part of that process is their new EP ‘Again & Again’.
In some ways it’s an apt title for this new collection of songs. It’s not a radical departure from 2014 ‘sself-titled debut album. ‘Again & Again’ is essentially more of the same. Considering the hit rate on their debut album that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
‘Again & Again’ opens with the typical briskness that you associate with Raglans in the form of Who Knows. From the start, there is a noticeable extra layer of sheen applied though. That could be down to producer Jason Wade from US band Lifehouse whos’ own band has a highly commercial sound. It’s a vibrant, high velocity tune that’s primetime radio ready. The rapid drum roll at the start signals intent with hurried guitar and Raglans’ trademark harmonies are present and correct. If there is a complaint is that it’s a little obvious. It is instantly likeable, but loses some if its vitality over repeated listens.
True North grabs you even quicker. It’s shimmering guitars stand out among Raglans’ catalogue of songs and makes it one of the most identifiable songs. Over time the song that stands out most is War Torn. Amongst the hustle and bustle of Raglans’ uproarious tongs, WarTorn is much more measured and builds to a resounding crescendo. It has the depth that was missing from the quick thrills of the opening songs. House Where I Was Born is another rapid-fire tune that is competent but doesn’t hold attention as much over days and weeks, certainly not compared to other Raglans songs. It just doesn’t have enough to define itself as sufficiently different form what’s gone on before.
If ‘Again & Again’ were a meal is a tasty morsel, but not the full three courses that we were expecting. It’s quick to please, but the aftertaste doesn’t linger on the palette as long as it should. For now it should be enough to tide fans over until Raglans’ next full release. - goldenplec


Still working on that hot first release.



Ste Kelly returns with his latest single - 'All The Trouble I've Caused' -  described as a very personal diary entry, disguised as a rocking campfire anthem -  in the former frontman of RAGLANS signature style. Written, produced and  performed by Ste himself in his own studio, it is the first of multiple singles intended for release in advance of his debut solo record 'Bad News Best Forgotten' coming in early 2022 via Gentleman Recordings.

Ste Kelly is an IMRO award nominated songwriter known for his work as founder of  notorious Irish indie rock favourites RAGLANS - who have toured and released Stephens songs to much acclaim at home and abroad appearing on some of the worlds biggest stages.

Follow Stephen on Instagram @stekellysongs on Facebook @StephenKellyTheFirst and on Spotify.

Band Members